Exchanges Around the World - North America

Boston Options Exchange (BOX)

The Boston Options Exchange (BOX), co-founded by the Boston Stock Exchange, the Montreal Exchange and Interactive Brokers Group, launched in 2004. Today, BOX is jointly owned by TMX Group and seven broker dealers.

Distinctive features of the all-electronic options exchange:

  • BOX offers investors the possibility of price improvement via PIP (Price Improvement Period).
    • BOX was the first options market to offer the possibility of price improvement to private investors.
    • Price improvement orders "PIP Orders" are broadcast to BOX Participants as a special order type, which starts the PIP.
    • According to BOX, the rate of improvement has generally averaged over one dollar (USD 1.00) per contract.
  • BOX does not have a specialist system.
    • Multiple market-makers compete for orders; no specialists or designated primary market makers (DPMs).
    • Broker/dealers and customers of broker/dealers may become BOX participants; no equity investment is required.
    • Private investors and options traders may send orders to BOX through their broker.
  • Additional key features of BOX:
    • Orders matched using a price/time priority algorithm.
    • Make or take transaction fee pricing on penny classes.
    • No payment for order flow.
    • All options traded on BOX are guaranteed and cleared by the OCC.

Trading technology at BOX

BOX uses The SOLA® Trading Engine, a proprietary trading technology developed by the Montreal Exchange.

The BOX trading engine provides an "open API" (Application Program Interface), which allows BOX Participants to interface existing order routing and trading software to the trading engine. Gateway protocols such as FIX and CMS for connection to the trading engine are also provided.

For more information about BOX Options Exchange and PIP, please visit: